Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rye Bread Experiment #1: The Results

Continuing on with the results of the Rye Bread adventure I discussed in Thursday's post, Bare Cupboards Bread Project...

Initial Results/Appearance:                                                                                       
Looks pretty much like any other bread, right?

...I show you how some of them lifted on one
side and look torn along that edge

This is the wildest one-sided tear

...And there is this one that lifted evenly for Side A

...and Side B

Hmm.  Am curious about why this happened and what could have been done differently to prevent it.  Or should I just appreciate the abstract art that is rye bread?  If it doesn't hurt the use or taste, I guess it's not that big a deal... 

Interior Evaluation and Use:  My main aim was a bread that could be used for whatever kind of sandwiches the family wants to make this week, as usual.  What I wanted also, though, was a hint of rye and molasses for a little richer flavor... Something that provides a nice change of pace for the taste buds.

Even still a little warm, the ugliest loaf slices well and has a good, soft texture and nice crumb.  My evaluation is that it's a little denser than wheat bread, but not a lot. It has the softness I think the family will like, while not being too delicate to support a sandwich.  It has a nice flavor, without being too strong or odd to go with peanut butter and jelly just as well as it will with ham or egg salad.  

Summation of family reaction, added later:  They did notice a difference in the density, but not as a negative.  Prince Inventive enjoyed French Toast made of it.  Prince Go-for-It says he wasn't sure about it as peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but prefers it to our usual bread when made as toast with peanut butter alone.  Hubby says he thought it was a little sweeter, and he likes it.  There are no complaints in using it for sandwiches and such, just like the wheat bread.  It seems to be well accepted by everyone.                                                                                                                                        

Nutrition:  I am looking forward to trying a version of this bread using only whole grain rye and wheat flours, instead of adding the all-purpose, which should make a healthier option.  

In my internet travels, trying to find out information on rye bread before I started in, I found that rye has nutritional advantages.'s nutrition profile for rye reports that it is higher in fiber, certain B vitamins, Vitamin E, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc than whole wheat.  There are studies that seem to indicate it causes a lower insulin reaction than wheat, which means better blood sugar balance and less fat storage.  Because of its density and slower digestion time, the eater will feel satiated with less, having further positive affect on blood sugar levels and possibly weight for those trying to reduce.  For all of these reasons and other tested reactions, it seems to be a better choice for diabetics than wheat.  

--If I can get my under-eating prince to eat as much of this bread as he does wheat bread, he'll get more calories and healthy fats to build more muscle and better support his energy needs.  This is worth its weight in gold toward what I'm trying to accomplish for him. (His story was told in Calorie-Counting and the Voracious Vacuums)

It's amazing how seemingly negative situations, like running out of wheat, can turn into unexpected blessings from which we learn and benefit.  The experiment was fun and entertaining, which I thought was enough.  I had no idea of the step I was taking toward healthier eating for my family.

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